Not only does the EU have its hands full with a sudden surge in favor of Brexit, it also has to deal with a sudden surge in the popularity of Spain’s Eurosceptic “United We Can” party.
Center right Popular Party (PP) candidate and acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy was widely expected to gain seats following the failed election in 2015.
Recent polls shows PP is losing seats to the once fractured Podemos (We Can) party after it aligned with IU forming “United We Can”.
December 2015 Election Results vs. Current Projections
The above charts from El Pais.
Mighty PSOE Eclipsed by Far Left
The Financial Times reports Spain’s Once-Mighty Socialists Set to be Eclipsed by Far-Left.
The Spanish left is heading for a wrenching realignment at this month’s repeat general election, with a closely watched new poll suggesting that the centre-left Socialist party will be eclipsed by the far-left Unidos Podemos bloc.
With the official election campaign set to kick off at midnight on Thursday, Unidos Podemos was forecast to win 25.6 per cent of the vote and 88-92 seats in the 350-strong parliament.
The latest poll, by the respected state-funded CIS research institute, gave the once-mighty Socialists just 21.2 per cent and 78-80 seats. If confirmed on June 26, the day of the election, that shift would offer fresh evidence of the deepening crisis facing Europe’s embattled social democrats.
Last month, the anti-austerity Podemos party and the United Left, which includes Spain’s former Communist party, decided to set aside their rivalry and run on a joint list dubbed Unidos Podemos (United We Can). For the Socialists, the traditional standard-bearer of the left, the fallout from that deal appears to be highly damaging.
According to the CIS survey, the Socialists and Unidos Podemos could control as many as 172 seats in parliament, just four shy of an absolute majority. Meanwhile, the PP and the centrist, pro-business Ciudadanos party are predicted to win at most 160 seats between them.
But party leaders and analysts alike caution that the Socialists are deeply reluctant to throw in their lot with Unidos Podemos, especially if that alliance were to be led by Podemos chief Pablo Iglesias.
“I don’t see the Socialists supporting Iglesias as prime minister,” said José Fernández-Albertos, a political scientist at the CSIC research centre. “The more likely outcome is that they will abstain and let Rajoy govern [in minority] but will go into the opposition themselves. They will tell their supporters: We cannot support the PP but we also have to be responsible.”
Another Hung Election?
Mathematically, it appears there will be another hung election.
None of the other parties like PP or its corrupt leader, Mariano Rajoy.
A three-way coalition between Unidos Podemos, PSOE, and Ciudadanos is the least likely outcome.
Undecided voters will determine the outcome.
El Pais reports the CIS survey shows 11% abstainers and 22% of respondents who have are undecided. Abstention on December 20 was 26.8%.
The undecideds will determine the outcome. And they appear to be breaking towards Unidos Podemos, a name that literally translates as “United We Can”, a nice campaign slogan.
If Unidos Podemos plus PSOE can achieve an absolute majority, I will guess the socialists will indeed unite, contrary to the opinion expressed above.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock